The red and yellow flags will be raised at 57 patrolled beaches across Victoria as full lifesaving patrols return this Saturday 1st December for the 2018/19 summer season.
Thousands of volunteer lifesavers will be keeping watch on beachgoers on Victoria’s coastal beaches from this weekend, joining the bay beaches, which have had patrols since mid-November.
Last season our volunteer lifesavers and lifeguards performed 659 rescues (140 more than the previous season), attended 1,806 first aid incidents and helped keep almost 3 million visitors to Victorian beaches safe.
Life Saving Victoria’s Lifesaving Operations Manager Greg Scott said the lifesavers had been training hard through the winter to keep their skills current and to be ready for the summer season.
However, he asks the public to take personal responsibility when heading to the beach this summer and to swim between the red and yellow flags where possible, so lifesavers can see them if they need assistance.
“We saw an increase in the strength and frequency of rip currents last season, so it’s important that people become familiar with how to identify, avoid and escape rip currents,” says Mr Scott. “They can occur at all beaches, even in bays.”
Videos explaining rip currents are available on beachsafe.org.au in multiple languages.
“It’s also important that people realise just how dangerous beaches can be – even when the weather is nice, so always check the weather reports and ocean conditions before heading out on the water,” says Mr Scott, “and check the VicEmergency website or app for real time warnings and beach safety information.”
Volunteer lifesavers provide patrols on weekends and most public holidays over the summer season.
Additional services are provided at unpatrolled locations and midweek by employed lifeguards during the peak summer period.
Information about patrolled beach locations and times is available at www.beachsafe.org.au.